Hello and welcome to sharing cake. I am Manjela and this is my own personal internet hangout, where I get to share my love for healthy food, a wholesome life and most importantly cake and cookies, everything scrumptious, really!
I am a German girl in her late twenties currently living in small town in the south of Germany, with my husband, whom I adore. I am a trained midwife and a baker at heart. I am a traveler, a Yogini, a freediver, an adventurer and a free spirit.
Ever since I was little I loved to bake. Some of my earliest childhood memories are helping my mother baking cakes and cookies, while trying to secretly nibble as much raw dough as possible.
It's in the kitchen where I find peace, where I find the space to let my thoughts wander, where I get to create something, where I get to appreciate the simple things and where I get to spread the love.
Through a, let's call it, chequered childhood and troublesome teenage years I lost the connection with my inner baker and probably also with myself. In 2013 I was diagnosed with a couple not life threatening but still severe food intolerances, that turned my life upside down... I basically found myself without 90 percent of my food sources over night. I can't have gluten, dairy or eggs... Being mostly vegetarian back then and with veganism being quite an alien concept to me in my early twenties, this left me with even more chaos in my life!
The next two years were not easy. It somewhat helped that my husband is also intolerant to milk (even more than I am), because at least I wasn't alone, but this was still quite dramatic to me. I had a very busy work schedule and neither the time nor the passion to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I felt socially awkward wherever we went, because I always had to interrogate about the food or I had to make special orders. I ended up isolating myself quite a bit, being really tired of being the weirdo, who presumably was doing all this just to be skinny... Also my diet went really south. With me not wanting to put much effort in and vegan and gluten-free not really being a thing back then, choices were limited and many of them were quite poor.
It wasn't until we started to travel Australia in 2015 that I came back on my feet. There were, and probably still are so much more gluten-free and vegan options in Australia (and many other countries). Being on a traveling budget, I simply had to cook. And it also helped that hostel kitchens are quite a sociable place. People constantly check out what everyone else is cooking, asking curiously about every ingredient. I started to tell my story and I met other people with similar stories and struggles. So over time I found the connection with my inner baker again and more importantly with myself. I learned that I am not alone and that I still can create so much yummy food, if I just think outside the box. I also learned that other people really seem to enjoy my food and started to feel social and whole again. I guess through cooking and baking in this social environment, where no one seemed to judge me for my story I learned to love myself again. Something I had lost somewhere between the chequered childhood and troublesome teenage years. I also learned about new (to me) concepts. About veganism, about seasonal cooking, about organic food, about why to source your food locally and so much more.
Being back from Australia I tried my best to incorporate everything I've learned into my daily life here in Germany. It took some time to adjust, but I am proud to say that I managed and that I couldn't be any more grateful.
These days I am just grateful. Grateful for my story, that lead me to being able to share everything I've learned with the world out there, for if I only get to inspire one person that's in a similar place that I was in, it's enough! Grateful for my own unique body, because it is my vessel in this world and I learned how to nourish it. Something I think many people never get to learn... Grateful for learning how to love myself and being able to spread the love as thick as Nutella. Grateful for this wonderful man on my side, that shares all my passions. Well, when it comes to cake he has more passion for eating it than baking it, but that's ok. And grateful for knowing that life has only just begun and there is so much more to come.
When I am in the kitchen I get to find peace, I get to remember all this, I get to imagine all that is to come, while I create something with all my senses in the here an now.